According to a New York Times investigation, Goldman Sachs has been intentionally raising the global cost of aluminum in a brazen manipulation of the commodities market that screws consumers worldwide.
Over the past three years, Goldman has raised the price of aluminium by buying a huge warehouse and intentionally slowing down service so they could charge higher storing fees. These fees, handed down to consumers, have netted Goldman Sachs over $5 billion. And there's nothing illegal about it.
When Goldman Sachs bought Metro International, a massive storage company responsible for holding metals like aluminum in its Michigan facilities, its ability send out metals to other companies began to slow down. This change in service distorted the market and drove up the price of aluminum worldwide as the price of the extra storage fees was handed down to the consumer. And who benefited greatly from the rise in the price of aluminum? Goldman Sachs, which is trading heavily in aluminum.
Existing regulations force storage companies to keep their aluminum moving (you wouldn't want someone hoarding the world Coke cans). So how did Goldman Sachs get around it? By simply moving the aluminum from one warehouse to another.
A former employee described the process of tediously moving aluminum back and forth all day:
Anthony Stuart, a forklift team leader at the Mount Clemens warehouse until 2012, said he and his nephew — who worked at a Metro warehouse about six miles away in Chesterfield Township — occasionally asked drivers to pass messages back and forth between them.
“Sometimes I’d talk to my nephew on the weekend, and we’d joke about it,” Mr. Stuart said. “I’d ask him ‘Did you get all that metal we sent you?’ And he’d tell; me ‘Yep. Did you get all that stuff we sent you?’ ”
Regulators are busy trying to catch up to the manipulation of commodities that banks like Goldman Sachs is making a fortune off of, but the banks always seem one step ahead. Now Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, and BlackRock have bought over 80% of the world's copper on behalf of their investors and will begin moving it to warehouses much like Goldman did with aluminum. Companies are now fearful that the prices of copper will soar, and consumers will carry even more of the burden.
But Goldman Sachs will continue to soar.